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by Brandon Jarvis

Democratic nominee for governor Terry McAuliffe announced a plan Tuesday that he hopes will increase vaccination rates across Virginia. “Virginia is for Vaccine Lovers” is the name the former governor wants to use for his strategy if he is elected to serve again. 

​​“The COVID-19 pandemic is the most pressing economic issue facing our Commonwealth, and we must do everything in our power to keep students safely in schools and our economy strong. That starts with getting every eligible Virginian vaccinated,” McAuliffe said in a press release. 

His plan would include providing incentives for businesses that require their employees be vaccinated, deploying public health workers to regions with low vaccination rates to provide critical information about vaccine safety, and utilizing mobile vaccine clinics. 

His Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin responded to the plan on Twitter. “I’m glad you’ve finally realized that a marketing campaign encouraging Virginians to get vaccinated against COVID is important,” Youngkin tweeted. “I released a PSA weeks ago. Where’s yours? Let’s put politics aside and film one together this Thursday at the debate – you in?” 

McAuliffe has come out in strong support of vaccine mandates while Youngkin has strongly urged his supporters to receive it, but stopped short of agreeing to a mandate. Recent polling showings that a majority of Americans support vaccine requirements.

McAuliffe then responded to Youngkin calling for him to push for vaccine requirements. “I have a real plan, Glenn. Not a gimmick like the one you launched to paper over the fact that you’ve been spreading anti-vaxx rhetoric,” McAuliffe tweeted. “Here’s an idea: join me in calling for vaccine requirements so we can end this virus once and for all. Step up Glenn.” 

Youngkin responded once again. “Bipartisanship that will save lives isn’t a gimmick, Terry. Sad that you think that way. My team has reached out to yours to coordinate. Hope you will reconsider.” 

Youngkin is slightly trailing McAuliffe in recent polling with early voting beginning this upcoming Friday. Both candidates are working hard to try and raise money to catch a stride in the final weeks. 

Vice President Kamala Harris and former Attorney General William Barr are the latest big names to be added to the now-long list of national political figures that have stumped in the Virginia gubernatorial race.“

McAuliffe and Youngkin have less than 50 days to convince voters to choose them for governor on Nov. 2.

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By vascope